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Frenzy of theft and bungling: Police have questioned Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and other senior officials in the ministry over the disappearance of Sh88 million meant for Kenyan athletes in the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations moved into the Kencom House offices of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts on Friday, where they interviewed Dr Wario for about four hours. And on Monday, the officers questioned the ministry’s director of administration, Mr Harun Komen, and Mr Wesley Maritim, the chief of staff, as a team investigating the controversial Olympic outing recommended action against government officials who misappropriated Sh88,611,480 in an air ticketing fraud.

Uhuru to Raila: Quit, I will take care of you: President Kenyatta on Monday asked Cord leader Raila Odinga to retire from politics and let young people run the country as he accused the former Prime Minister of using propaganda to sabotage the Jubilee government. In fiery speeches in six constituencies that were calculated to fire up his central Kenya base, calm fears of Jubilee nominations fallout, quash voter apathy and paint the opposition as incompetent, he described the Cord leader as a man who has run out of ideas. “Maybe it is his age and that is why we are asking him to retire now that he is an old man. We will ensure he is treated well. Occasionally, I will bring him a bowl of uji in Bondo if he quits,” said the President yesterday.

Harakhe shows up in court to avoid jail: One of the main suspects in the National Youth Service scandal, Mr Adan Harakhe, and Devolution ministry administrator Hassan Noor Hassan on Monday surrendered to court to avoid arrest for allegedly skipping a hearing. The duo was charged over the payment of Sh47.6 million to one of the companies allegedly paid part of the Sh791 million stolen from the NYS. An Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes High Court judge meanwhile declined to stop the prosecution of three others over the multimillion-shilling scandal. Anti-Corruption Magistrate Felix Kombo withdrew the warrants of arrest the court had issued on Friday directing the police to arrest Mr Harakhe, the former NYS deputy director-general, and Mr Noor.

The Standard

Fired… Pain of lost jobs: More than 10000 employees may have lost their jobs in 2016 alone, as employers grapple with a tough business environment. Over 20 companies, including a host of banks and manufacturers, have laid off thousands of employees, leaving families across the country without a source of income. Although Kenya Airways has so far sent home only 80 employees, it plans to lay off 600 others in its second phase of retrenchment, making it the biggest job cutter this year. Standard Chartered Bank has sent home 300 employees, Equity Bank 400, Sidian Bank 108, Family Bank, First Community and NIC 32.

Raila attacks Uhuru over Waiguru and DP Ruto aides: CORD leader Raila Odinga has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of shielding former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru from prosecution over the National Youth Service scandal. Raila also questioned the Government’s silence on aides and associates of Deputy President William Ruto who have been linked to the NYS scam. In her affidavit, Ms Waiguru named Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Farouk Kibet as individuals linked to the saga. Raila said Waiguru is still free despite calls from even the Deputy President that she be charged. However, the former CS has maintained she is innocent, saying she was a whistleblower.

Anger as KTN’s Joy Doreen Biira charged in Uganda: The Standard Group has called on the Ugandan Government to withdraw charges against KTN news anchor and reporter Joy Doreen Biira who had been held at Kasese police station, western Uganda. Joy’s employer also wants the case against her terminated. She has been charged with abetting terrorism following her posts on social media that were prompted by the mass killings in Kasese, Sunday. “The charges arose from the professional activities of Ms Biira at the weekend when unrest broke out in her hometown of Kasese, western Uganda. Joy had been on a private visit to the region when the conflict erupted and, as any good journalist would, she went on social media and gave detailed updates of the chaos as it unfolded,” said Standard Group Editorial Director Joe Odindo.

The Star

Raila: Uhuru is protecting Waiguru: Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of protecting former Devolution CS Anne Waiguru and associates of Deputy President William Ruto he says are linked to corruption. Ruto’s aide, Farouk Kibet, and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen have been linked to the scam in which the National Youth Service lost as much as Sh1.2 billion some estimates are higher. Waiguru, who resigned at the height of the scandal, has denied benefiting from the scam and named Murkomen and Kibet among others as people involved. “The protection Waiguru is enjoying clearly demonstrates that the NYS scam is President Kenyatta’s scam and its chief architect Anne Waiguru is his protectorate,” Raila said in a statement to newsrooms.

Central Bank keeps lending rate at 10%: The Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has retained its key lending rate at 10 per cent. During its bimonthly meeting yesterday, the MPC said the rate needed no further action, as inflation is expected to remain within the government’s target range of between 2.5 and 7 per cent. “Given the prevailing domestic and global economic uncertainties and the need for more conclusive information on development, the MPC decided to retain the Central Bank Rate,” chairman Patrick Njoroge said in a statement. The CBR is the reference rate for pricing loans under the new law. The MPC meets every two months to determine Kenya’s fiscal policy. The MPC set the rate, technically known as the Central Bank Rate, at 10 per cent in September, after effecting a 50 basis points cut from 10.5 per cent, which had prevailed since May.

Flower exports hit by Naivasha workers’ strike: Flower exports and local distribution were yesterday dealt a major blow after more than 400 workers from Kreative Roses went on strike. The employees of the Naivasha based farm are demanding a salary increment and an improvement in their working conditions. They vowed they will not resume duty until all their grievances are addressed. The strike comes months after Karuturi Flower Farm closed down sending home more than 2,500 workers, while the nearby Oserian flower farm laid off another 500 workers. The companies have cited harsh economic conditions which include high cost of labour and poor European Union market as some of the major challenges they are facing.

Business Daily

Ex-Telkom Kenya staff battle with lawyers in Sh1.3bn award: More than 700 retrenched Telkom Kenya workers awarded Sh1.3 billion compensation a year ago face a prolonged wait after getting into a legal dispute with their lawyers who are demanding 30 per cent of the money. The former Telkom workers have obtained a court order freezing bank accounts of three law firms hired to prosecute the case against their former employer, accusing them of colluding to embezzle a large portion of their dues. The retrenchees were to get between Sh900,000 and Sh3.5 million each depending on pay grade during employment and the number of years served at Telkom. They, however, claim in a fresh suit that Letangule & Company Advocates, Oluoch & Company Advocates and S.M. & Company Advocates have decided to illegally pocket Sh390 million in legal and auctioneers’ costs.

Dandora garbage power plant stalls in Kidero standoff with German firm: A multi-billion shilling garbage-powered electricity plant billed by Governor Evans Kidero as the magic bullet for Nairobi’s refuse problem hangs in the balance after City Hall disagreed sharply with the German company behind the project. The firm, Sustainable Energy Management UG (SEM), claims City Hall is in breach of a contract for the proposed setting up of a 70 megawatts (MW) electricity generation plant jointly with the County Government at Nairobi’s Dandora. The German firm now plans to seek compensation of up to Sh600 million from the county government over the stalled Sh4 billion ($400 million) project.

NBK ratios fall further below statutory caps: The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has seen its quarter three capital ratios fall further below regulatory requirements even as the lender’s net earnings decreased fourfold to Sh521 million compared to last year’s Sh2.25 billion. The NBK’s total capital to total risk-weighted assets ratio stood at 12.6 per cent as at September 2016, which is 1.9 percentage points below the Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) statutory minimum of 14.5 per cent. The bank first breached the ratio- which is important if the lender wants to grow its loan book- in March when it fell short by 1.4 percent after remaining compliant by a razor margin for several quarters.

 

 

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